It appears that just about any veteran on the Phillies, that doesn’t have a new contract and isn’t named Chase Utley, is available for the right price. Jimmy Rollins is just the latest name to surface in trade discussions, ESPN’s Buster Olney reports.
PHI has made clear to other teams, as it did during the summer, that it is very willing to move Jimmy Rollins. Has a no-trade clause, tho.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 16, 2013
Rollins joins Jonathan Papelbon and Ryan Howard, as the names that the Phillies wouldn’t hesitate to move, but will have just about no chance to, given their large salaries and declining production.
Rollins batted just .256 with six homeruns and 59 RBI’s in 2013. He still is an elite fielder at shortstop, but now that he is 35, it’s fair to wonder how much longer he will be.
It’s also fair to wonder why any team would be interested in trading for Rollins, who still has $11 million guaranteed to him in 2014. He also has a vesting option for 2014, that only requires him to have 434 appearances next season to trigger an $11 million option for 2015. To put that in perspective, Rollins has had 550 plate appearances in every season since 2001, with the exception of 2010. If by some miracle that he doesn’t have his 2015 option vest, the team would likely decline his $8 million option for 2015. The problem? Rollins still owns a $5 million option for 2015, that he very well could exercise if he determines that he won’t get more on the open market.
What’s more, Olney reminds us that Rollins has a no-trade clause, and even if the Phillies were able to agree on a trade with another team, he would have to agree to the deal. Rollins could very well ask his next team to guarantee him the 2015 option to waive the no-trade clause.
All of this is without discussing that the Phillies would be unlikely to take on enough of Rollins salary to make the deal happen, or the fact that they would hold him to value of the 2007 version of Jimmy Rollins, which means they would expect an unrealistic for Rollins.
Not only is Jimmy Rollins not going anywhere for 2014, but it seems highly unlikely that his 2015 option won’t vest, meaning he will likely be in Philadelphia for another two seasons.